1. ChinaFinishing the food on your plate is considered rude in China. Even if you find the meal delicious, it is important that you leave a small portion behind. This is a way of complimenting the host that he/she has fed you enough.
2. JapanIt is an act of rudeness to pass food using a chopstick while dining in Japan. They believe that bones are passed the same way during a funeral. Thus, nobody wants to be reminded of death and funerals while having a peaceful meal.
3. ThailandIn Thailand, using the fork for putting the food in the mouth is often looked upon. Here, the fork can only be used to push the food on the spoon and that is all. In case, if you want to eat food with the fork, think again when in Thailand! Hmm, I wonder how they eat noodles.
4. South KoreaIn South Korea, you cannot start eating before the oldest member has taken a bite. You are also supposed to follow the eating pace of the eldest person. This is considered a sign of respect. Sit back, relax and wait for the eldest one to start.
5. IndiaEating with your left hand is considered a taboo in India. Here it is believed that the right hand is reserved for noble pursuits while the left hand is used for cleaning the body. Seems strange right?
6. EgyptAsking for a salt shaker is a bad idea in Egypt. It is a way of telling the chef that the food lacks sufficient flavours and requires more seasoning. So, it is always better to eat in silence or you might disappoint your host.
7. ChileNever use your hands while eating in Chile because food should always be eaten with the cutlery. The whole concept sounds really hygienic. But how can you satiate your craving for chicken drumstick with a knife and fork in hand?
8. ItalyAsking for cheese with seafood is a great faux pas in Italy. It is considered a deadly sin to mix the cheese with the fish. But if you are in a major tourist destination, you might not be subject to unfriendly glances. Don't let the chefs throw some shade on you.
9. The United KingdomWhile stirring tea or coffee, never let the spoon touch the sides of the cup. And after you are done stirring, the spoon must be left on the saucer. In case your spoon hits the cup and makes a tinkling noise it might not incite outrage, but people will know that you are a tourist. And cue those judgemental glances.
10. EthiopiaBe prepared to share the food when in Ethiopia. They offer large portion sizes, sufficient enough to feed an entire family. Ethiopians do not like wasting food and this is the best thing that they can do. Well, the more the merrier, right?
11. RussiaIf you put your hand on the lap while eating, it is a bad manner in Russia. You can put them on the table or anywhere else but not on the lap. So, think before you eat, when in Russia.
12. TanzaniaIn Tanzania, being on time for your meal is an insult to the host. If you want to be polite, show up late and they will appreciate the gesture. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it?
Now that you know about these strange food customs, beat those hunger pangs in a more 'culturally acceptable' way and travel the world!